Cross-disciplinary Collaborative Practicum for Content Development

School of Informatics

Given the modern network information environment, there is a great demand for effective communication. Content needs to be expressed well, so that it is both clear and easy to use. Effective, creative content production depends on a collaborative effort from both a technical and a content perspective. Usability depends, usually, on adequate testing of communications.
To provide experience in collaborative content development, we offer a program that brings students from the fields of information sciences, the arts, the humanities, social, and natural sciences, into an environment where they can work together. They learn experientially how to create content for our network era, in a practical educational program that will lead to them furthering their content literacy. Our project aims to have the students working together in small teams, negotiating their various skills and knowledge as a basis for developing content. They undertake this work confident in expectation that their communication abilities will be improved.
This program encourages students who have a reasonable level of knowledge in their subject domains to participate. Graduate students in the first half of their doctoral program or in the master program are also eligible to participate in the program. We call this a “Practicum in Collaborative Content Development”. As well as the teacher in charge, there are helpers with technical knowledge and ability who play an important role in these practicums. We value the contribution of such students serving as teaching assistants (TA) and aides.
We divide the students into small-group teams. We divide the material up and introduce significant themes in content development. For instance, themes are set so that some students gather visual data of the area, making a digital archive of them, some students use 3-D graphics to design and develop new content, and some students create an interactive and flexible digital photo frame. (See the Conceptual Diagram.)
In addition, we offer a lecture on “Content Creation and Rights Management” to provide the students with a basic knowledge of social systems for the protection of intellectual property and personal information and a basic knowledge of content production in the real world, both of which are very important in good content production.
We also hold educational seminars and create opportunities to exhibit the works that have been produced in the practicums, where cooperation from experts can be gained through evaluation.
In our program, we work not only with our university as a whole, but also in partnership with other universities and colleges, as well other organizations. In this way, we aim to develop a model program for education in content development.